Samsung’s new mid-range Galaxy XCover Pro has one interesting feature we haven’t seen in a smartphone for a while: a removable battery.
On first look, the Xcover appears to be a region-specific phone that’s based around ruggedness and practicality – with a display that works when wet (or with gloves) and can survive a 1.5-meter fall. It sounds similar to CAT’s tough workman’s phones, which might be a new market Samsung is testing.
But, by a long distance, the removable battery piques my interest the most. Samsung’s decision to switch to a more Apple-like design in 2015 with the Galaxy S6 left a lot of long-time fans annoyed by the sudden change of direction. The new sleeker phones didn’t last as long when it came to battery life, and they had a shorter shelf life because lithium-ion batteries can only hold a finite amount of charges.
This new XCover puts Samsung back on familiar ground. It may be a one-off, or even a feature just for this range, but Samsung would do well to consider bringing back removable batteries for other mid-range devices.
Considering the fact that a breakthrough in battery technology is still a way off, simply giving people the ability to swap in pre-charged batteries is a feature that should’ve never disappeared as quickly as it did. I understand that the quirky, brightly coloured, removable plastic rear panels on older smartphones had to be consigned to the historical dustbin. But the need to switch-out batteries never went. Aesthetics overruled practicality and we were all worse off for it.
If Samsung is diving head-first into high-quality mid-range phones that focus on big batteries, good cameras and affordable prices then it should experiment further with bringing back this bygone feature.
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